World's first 3D printed bike bridge opened in Noord-Brabant
The world's first 3D printed bicycle bridge opened in Gemert, Noord-Brabant on Tuesday. It was built by the Eindhoven University of Technology and BAM Infra, NOS reports. "The bridge is not very big, but it all came out of a printer. That makes it unique", Theo Salet of TU Eindhoven said to the broadcaster.
The eight meter long bridge is part of the new Randweg in Gemmert and connects the N605 with the N272. It is made from prestressed and reinforced concrete and consists of around 800 printed layers that were assembled on site. In future, those steps may all happen during the production process, Jeroen Nuijten of BAM Infra said. But as this is the first bridge made in this way, the builders wanted to make extra sure that it is constructionally sound and safe.
3D printing is an exciting new possibility for the building industry and is also more environmentally friendly. As it prints exactly what is needed, less material is used and there is less waste. It is often also cheaper and faster than the traditional way of building, and fewer preparations are necessary.
In addition to this bridge, TU Eindhoven already did several other tests with printed concrete. The university will soon start printing houses in Eindhoven and is also working on building larger bridges, viaducts and other concrete structures with a 3D printer.